Early years maths scheme to expand nationally

The professional development programme designed by the NDNA aims to increase practitioner skills, knowledge, and confidence.

The funding will enable 405 private, voluntary, independent and school-based nurseries to access the programme for free during this academic year.

An evaluation of the scheme by the EEF found that on average children on the Maths Champions programme made an extra three months’ progress in both maths and language development.

There is also evidence to suggest that this could be as high as six months for children from disadvantaged backgrounds which could help close the attainment gap.

Settings can sign up to deliver the programme from February 2024. To be eligible, settings must take three- to four-year-olds, with at least six of those children attending for a minimum of 15 hours a week.

Participating nurseries are required for their programme leaders to be Level 3 qualified practitioners for the roles of Maths Champion and Deputy Maths Champion and must be able to commit to completing the 12-month programme.

At an NDNA event yesterday, it was also revealed that 200 Maths Champions places would be funded by the Sir Richard Whittington Charity in the 20 per cent most disadvantaged areas.

Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said, ‘Broadening access to proven programmes like Maths Champions is key to supporting all pupils’ development, and levelling the playing field for children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

‘The fact that we are able to remove, or substantially reduce, inhibitive cost barriers – particularly at a time when budgets are already thinly stretched – means that these programmes are more likely to reach and positively impact those children who stand to benefit the most.’

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), said,We are delighted that the Education Endowment Foundation has decided to support a national roll-out of our Maths Champions programme following the success of the recent evaluation.  

‘We developed the Maths Champions programme to make a real difference to children’s learning and outcomes in maths by enhancing practitioners’ knowledge and confidence in teaching early maths and now more early years settings will be able to benefit from it.’  

Find out more about the programme www.ndna.org.uk/maths


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